Carl Rogers, an influential American psychologist and one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology, described a healthy and fully- functioning person as having the following qualities:
1. Openness to experience
Embrace life. Get curious. Seek to learn and experience new things. Get interested in people, get interested in yourself. Trust in the wisdom of life. Resist nothing.
“What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.” ~ Carl Jung
Step into the unknown. Get out of your comfort zone. Move with the flow of life. Accept and embrace every experience that life sends your way. Learn from everything and everyone.
2. Living in the here-and-now
Learning to be present, which I believe is a crucial thing, not only for those who want to become self-actualized but for each and every one of us. I love what Eckhart Tolle says about living in the present moment. Just look at this:
“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
If you think about it, it’s no rocket science, you don’t have to go to Princeton or Harvard in order for you to learn this. Each and every one of us can do this. I remember how I used to worry so much about what the future might bring and regretting the past, not realizing that I was, in fact, hurting myself and I was also wasting my life. It may take some time if you are a habitual worrier, but trust me, it’s not impossible, and as you get better and better at it, you will realize how much your life will be simplified.
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
3. Organismic trusting
We do this by trusting our inner self, our heart and intuition, our true nature and not the neurotic self that many of us identify with and by doing this thing will come naturally, effortlessly. We have forgotten our true nature, our identity, and it’s no wonder that there is so much anxiety, pain, and suffering in the world. The moment we realize who we are and where we came from, we will become tolerant, loving and kind, with ourselves, the people around us and our dear Mother Nature, because by doing this, not only will you heal yourself, but you will also heal the whole planet and all the people that live on this Earth.
“If you observe nature at work, you will see that least effort is expended. Grass doesn’t try to grow, it just grows. Fish don’t try to swim, they just swim. Flowers don’t try to bloom, they bloom. Birds don’t try to fly, they fly. This is their intrinsic nature. The earth doesn’t try to spin on its own axis; it is the nature of the earth to spin with dizzying speed and to hurtle through space. It is the nature of babies to be in bliss. It is the nature of the sun to shine. It is the nature of the stars to glitter and sparkle. And it is human nature to make our dreams manifest into physical form, easily and effortlessly.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Freedom to choose the life we want to live, the things we want to do, the people we want to spend our time with, the work we want to do, the freedom to listen to our heart, the freedom to make our dreams come true. If you ask me, we have become the prisoners of our own mind, and no matter how free we say we are on the outside, on the inside we are the slaves of our negative and polluted thinking, the slaves of our past conditioning and limiting beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we are doomed and that’s all there is to us and that we can no longer do anything about it. It’s only up to us whether we want to change our lives or not, whether we want to be slaves or free as the wind.
The moment you realize that you are free and the one who is responsible for your life, you will do whatever you can in order to make a change, in order to create something that will last long after you’re gone. A fully- functioning person knows that they are here on this planet to create something bigger, bigger than themselves, and even though for many of us these things will seem impossible, they will do whatever they can in order to make that possible, to make their dreams become reality, helping the world and themselves.
No matter what your job may be, no matter if you are the CEO of a Multi National Company or a mechanic, you can make a difference, we all can, and you will be able to accomplish this by doing that which you really love and loving that which you do, because when you do what you love, you will be the best at your job and believe me, success will follow.
As you can see, you don’t need a diploma, you don’t need to take any classes or go to a fancy university in order to know that having an open mind that will get you far; that living in the present moment will release you from all the tension and anxiety that is present in your life; that trusting your intuition will help you live your life on purpose, giving you the freedom you need in order to pursue the life you want and go after your dreams, dreams that will help put your creativity to work in order for you to create whatever it is that you want.